The Final Dare

I am so, so taken by the dare of writing 1,000 gifts.

I am sorely tempted.

It is Chapter 5 that does it to me tonight. Ann is somewhere in the 900's, and I want it. I want the life that can write...

Brown eggs fresh from the henhouse
Pinky skin of newborn pigs
Opening jars of preserves
Earthy aroma of woods

I want to be the woman who looks out over her farm and finds the moments that...

drink the sweet right out of now.

You have no idea how much I want it.

I want it so much that I would pretend I could find it by tracing the same lines through the same dots.

But I already know it is not me. Me, who lives urban, shovels snow off concrete, looks for beauty somewhere in the cracks of the sidewalks and the streetlights iced. Me who traces for eternity in pastels and the dance. I know it is not me. And I can hardly say it, for fear that someone will say, "But it should be you. This is the way."

And now I think that the dare is finally this: to be spiritually beautiful right where I am, in the way He has gifted and wooed me to be.

Quotes from Chapter 5 of the beautiful book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

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Blogger Mrs_Thielke said...

You are right...spiritually beautiful right where you are. I long to be where Ann is, that IS me, but the Lord sees fit to have me where I am for the moment. You are a blessing! Thanks for the post

Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

Yes, that is the message, isn't it...to live and be and pray and write...right where you are.

You think you've got a challenge writing from your urban world of sidewalk cracks? I'm stuck in the suburbs. Can it get less romantic and more vanilla than cul-de-sacs and neighborhood covenants?

I'll be on the lookout, though, for beauty somewhere in the whirr of snowblowers shooting arcs of white powder alongside neat and uniform driveways. :)

Blogger Joules Evans said...

Yes. Bloom where we are planted. Like you said on your blog a couple of days ago, to "sift through for the glory"... and there is glory all around, because He made everything glorious.

I picked up a copy of "One Thousand Gifts" yesterday, after reading about it on your blog. And then seeing 4-5 people mention it on Facebook later that same day.

So glad I did. After reading the first two chapters over a late lunch yesterday, I headed to my breast surgeon's office to go with a friend who was just beginning her own cancer journey. The night before, we had spoken after she got the phone call with the c-word. Even then, she had caught a glimpse of this perspective of sifting through for the glory, as she mentioned to me that she sees this cancer as sort of a "pinch to wake her up". I found her words, your words, Ann's words to be in perfect harmony in the midst of such discord. Like you said, "it doesn't take the pain away" and the sifting also hurts, but the end is glory. And in the end it will all be worth it because that is our chief end.

Her name is Leah, btw.

Cheers and love,

Blogger Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

This reminds me of a book I read recently about a playful, eyes-wide-open woman in your kind of neighborhood who DID just this. As I recall, she sat a red plastic sled with a yellow pull rope and observed the spiritually beautiful things right there in her yard. Can you imagine?

Anonymous bluemountainmama said...

moments that "drink the sweet right out of now"... wow. you do seem gifted in finding them, even in the urban concrete... and you express them so beautifully. i understand, though. it was a hard transition leaving my little WV farmhouse and valley and moving into a town(albeit small) surrounded by strip mines. my kitchen window now overlooks a beer distributer and parking lot, instead of mountains and a babbling brook. but i am learning, along with you, to still find beauty.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have wanted to be something else too.
something that i can already see. something that other people already are.

though, now i know, i have been spending too much time wanting to be what i am not, what someone else already is, instead of becoming what i am to be.

i think i have been unable to trust.

not knowing what i will become
is much harder
than wishing to be what i am not.

yet, wishing to be what i am not
holds me back from becoming.

Blogger Abby said...

this is the chapter i just finished...my favorite so far...

and i love the translation to urban life and 'right where I am, in the way He has gifted and wooed me to be.' now, for me, urban scrawl soon in-between and then eastern european capital...it is beautiful and old, but i know from a year there that i struggled to find it with pervasive smoke and begging, pushy gypsies that i didn't even know what they were saying let alone if i could trust them with what i gave...but it is there and i must purpose to seek and find and live it!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found your blog through *A Holy Experience*...and what a blessing! Your writing has already drawn me out of myself...to think...to contemplate. I also live in the outskirts of a busy city and wonder about my *list*. It will be so different...maybe there is a little more *searching* to do in the city as opposed to living on acres and acres of beauty on a farm...but it it there...for all of us. We just have to keep our eyes open and look. I look forward to future posts!

Anonymous Cheryl Smith said...

Jennifer, your comment made me smile. Yes, a year of red sled and back yard and tree and bird.

We all must find beauty in our journey, learning to be fully present with Him. Attentive to the world and the moments that surround us.

L. L., you model this beautifully. With tea cup in hand.


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